It is a place of solace for grieving parents who have lost a child, but earlier this month the Angel of Hope statue at the Maple Grove Arboretum was the target of graffiti.
On the morning of May 5, a gold spray painted number "12" covered several memorial paver bricks that surround the statue. Maple Grove police aren't sure if it was a class of 2012 prank.
The crime happened at the worst possible time. That Saturday morning families were gathering at that spot for the second annual Walk to Remember, an event to honor the memory of their loved ones lost. Volunteers with Friends of the Angel, the group that organizes the walk, scrambled to clean it up before walkers showed up.
"These bricks are, for some people, the only place to go to remember and memorialize their child," says Sarah Kerbeshian, Friends of the Angel volunteer whose son, Luke, died of SIDS in 1997. "To have that place, that sacred place, be damaged by something so trivial really is something that us as bereaved parents have a hard time comprehending."
Kerbeshian says she and others will prepare victim impact statements so that, if someone is caught, that person will know how their actions have hurt these grieving families.
If you have any information about this crime and who might be responsible for it, you are urged to contact police at 763-494-6159. You can leave an anonymous tip.